For the very first time this year, my mother and I celebrated our Thanksgiving in a diner. Not a fancy restaurant but a simple humble diner.
She is almost 80 now and has never once eaten out on Thanksgiving - until this year. In the old days sometimes there were 30 people from Mom's side of the family who arrived for this holiday meal. Once my mother bought a roast so big she had to have dad help her carry it in. She worked full-time and just went out and bought what she called "half a cow." But when Dad found out how much it cost he was horrified. "I am going to spend my money before your family eats it all," he told her.
Things change though. Some relatives moved, died, grew up, became estranged. My father died in 1984. In the last few years, Thanksgiving has been smaller. With a cousin or two and their children, eiither been at mom's, or at my cousin Denise's house near Hartford.
This year, Denise went to see her grand-babies in PA, with whom she is utterly obsessed. Their mom is prego again and sickish, not fit to travel. Dense and her husband passed through yesterday on their way to the grandbaby palace. They stopped here for lunch. we had ham and cheese and bagels. But that left Mom and I all on our own for THE meal on Thursday.
Somethings never change - nobody ever suggests that I cook anything. (Prudent choice...) So, today we went to Elmer's Dinner. She had the turkey special with cream of Turkey soup, I had the turkey special with a salad. It came with mashed potatoes, apple stuffing, candied yams, greenbeans and carrots, coffee, and pudding. They cooked it and took away the dirty dishes.
When we eat with the family there are six or seven deserts, and left-overs for weeks - months if you count the freezer! Thanksgiving is normally a caloric high-fat disaster. NOT THIS YEAR. We had a successfully moderate day foodwise. We didn't eat the potatoes, scrapped off the gravy. I did enjoy the apple stuffing and the pudding. The salad was great too. The Turkey was tender and hot and I would do it again in a heartbeat.
In the parking lot on our way out, we passed a family arriving for their meal - a middle-aged husband and wife, a wild ten-year old child, and an elderly couple. The older gent was a bit wobbly, grey-headed and all dapper in a black and white modern art sweater and sun glasses, but his wife looked out of it, and was manuvered deftly into a wheel chair. LIfe does have its neccessities. So today, I am thankful for diners.